WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) Paul Dau’s family has been getting settled in the new Wausau home.
“We have moved in the time of four weeks,” Dau said, “still getting ready, unboxing and then moved in.”
The family began searching for a new home in December. They was offered a house in April.
“We are now the parents of three children and we’ve outgrown our old home, andwe wanted to live in a better area,” Dau said. “We were looking at any house that was up for sale within our budget. It was around 15 houses over the three months we looked.”
Dau’s family doesn’t have it all to themselves.
The families of Wisconsin and across the nation are trying to navigate a challenging housing market.
“The market is now, historically, record-low in terms of homes available, record-high amount of potential buyers and we’ve experienced in the past two years that we have seen double-digit gains in market value and double-digit declines in the housing inventory of homes that buyers are able to purchase,” Lora Bladow, the RE/MAX Excel’s Realtor explained.
In the case of families such as Dau’s it means that competition is tough.
They ultimately offered just a little over $20,000 more than the asking price to secure their home.
“Knowing that you’re making an offer that may be way over-paying for your house and this is the only way to obtain it, is sort of frightening when you have to go through the process,” Dau said.
The situation has gotten more terrifying as Wausau is further from a well-balanced market.
“The concept of having a market that is balanced across the industry comprises six months’ worth of stock for residential properties,” Bladow said.
There are more buyers looking to purchase than houses available for sale.
“We currently, in the Wausau region, with two months of inventory,” Bladow said, “which is a clear indication that we’re extremely low on inventory right at the moment.”
“I didn’t think I would find Wausau to be so difficult to locate a home,” Dau said.
The equilibrium of the market for housing is tilted at an angle that is more steep as Wausau expands.
“We were experiencing a growth in population but not a steady increase of homes being built,” Bladow explained, “and this is the real source of the issue.”
The Dau family viewed markets from all sides after they sold their previous property in 2021.
“We were successful in selling our home at a much higher price than we bought it for in the past five years,” Dau said. “That was a huge help in being capable of affording the house we have now moved into.”
This is the reverse of a market that is unbalanced when it tilts in the seller’s side.
“Your home will be sold within some days However, finding a house and negotiating an offer takes much longer.” Dau said.
The current trend won’t be changing anytime soon.
“Demand clearly will continue to be more than supply,” Bladow said, “which will continue to drive the market for another year or three dependent on a variety of factors however, the main thing is how far we’re behind to catch up with the shortfall we’re facing.”
Agents, an off-balance market can be a stressful one.
“I’ve been in this industry for a while, since the year 2006” Bladow told me, “and it is one of the toughest markets I’ve experienced as a real estate agent which includes the downfall of the housing market during 2008 and 2009 and 2010 mainly because it’s extremely complex.”
It’s not an easy task even for something as basic as a growing family locating an apartment.
“Going through the process, we went through all the house-hunting in winter, which meant that when we first took a look at the home, there was some accumulation of snow.” Dau said, “and being here, moving into the house, and with spring arriving is a huge relief. It’s a huge stress reliever for me to be able to sit back and take a break and relax.”
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